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02 AUGUST 2012

Computer History Museum: Selling the Computer Revolution

"The brochures selected here (just a fraction of the Museum's holdings in this area) show some of the more important technologies, companies, and applications in computing from 1948 to 1988. This covers the period from mechanical and relay–based computers to those based on the microprocessor – a remarkable transition that occurred over only 25 years. We hope you enjoy browsing through these historical documents."

(Computer History Museum)



1940s1950s1960s1970s1980sanalogue computerAppleApple LisaApple PCArs TechnicaAtariBBC Microbrochure • Burroughs Corporation • COBOL • CommodoreCommodore 64computercomputer historyComputer History Museum • computer revolution • David Ogilvy • device • file system • Fortranhistorical documentshistoryhistory of computingIBMIBM PC • IBM PCjr • important technologiesindustrial archaeologyindustrial designinformation ageinnovationMad Menmainframemarketing campaignmaterial culturemechanical computer • microprocessor • museumPCproduct design • relay-based computers • retrosales brochureselling the computer revolutiontechnological change • technological evolution • technological innovationtechnologytechnology companiestechnology marketingtechnophobiaTexas Instrumentstransitional technologiesUNIVAC 9000 Seriesvintage technology • Wang Laboratories • ZX Spectrum


Simon Perkins
17 JANUARY 2011

Computer Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum

"The V&A has been collecting computer–generated art and design since the 1960s. More recently, the Museum acquired two significant collections of computer–generated art and design, and together these form the basis of the UK's emerging national collection of Computer Art.

The Museum's holdings range from early experiments with analogue computers and mechanical devices, to examples of contemporary software–based practices that produce digital prints and computer–generated drawings. The earliest work in the collection dates from 1952 and is a long exposure photograph of electronic beams on an analogue computer, by artist Ben Laposky.

More recently, the V&A has acquired a large digital inkjet print from 2008, which is nearly two metres long and was created using pixel mapping software designed by American artist Mark Wilson.

The collection consists predominately of two–dimensional works on paper, such as plotter drawings, screenprints, inkjet prints, laser prints and photographs, as well as artists' books, from around the world. Early practitioners of computer art were working in Britain, France, Germany, and Spain, as well as the United States, Japan and South America."

(Victoria and Albert Museum)

Fig.1 Herbert W. Franke 'Oscillogramm' (1956)



Simon Perkins
24 JANUARY 2010

John Whitney: Motion Graphics Pioneer

"John Whitney, Sr. was one of the earliest and most influential of the computer animation pioneers. He came at the problem from the background of film, working with his brother James Whitney on a series of experimental films in the 1940s and 1950s. His work in this area gave him the opportunity to collaborate with well known Hollywood filmmakers, including Saul Bass.

His earliest computer work used analog devices for controlling images and cameras. After the second world war, Whitney purchased surplus military equipment and modified it to be used in his art making. One such device was an analog mechanism used in military anti–aircraft controllers, the M–5 (and later the M–7). Whitney and his brother converted this device of war into an animation controller, and used it together with a mounted camera as an animation stand. ...

After establishing his company Motion Graphics, Inc in 1960, he used his analog devices for the opening to the Hitchcock movie Vertigo in 1961. His company was focused on producing titles for film and television, and was also used in graphics for commercials. But Whitney was far more interested in the use of the technology as an art form, and began a series of collaborations in art making that has lasted for years. Many of these early collaborations revolved around the advancement of the vector graphics device as a viable tool for making art. Whitney received funding from IBM to take a look at the use of IBM equipment in the design of motion. He worked with IBM programmers in the development of a language for extending the computer to the control of graphics devices. This resulted in one of his most famous animations, Permutations in 1968."

(Wayne Carlson)




19581968abstract graphic animationAlfred Hitchcockanalogue computeranimation • animation controller • Bernard Herrmanncompositioncomputer animationcustom typeface • digital harmony • IBMinnovatorJames WhitneyJohn Whitney • M-5 • M-7 • mechanical computermotion graphics • Motion Graphics Incorporated • Permutations • pioneerpioneering animatorSan FranciscoSaul Basstitle sequence • UPA studios • Vertigo (1958)visualisation


Simon Perkins

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